/ Modified feb 25, 2013 6:06 p.m.

3 Metro Area Municipal Elections Coming Up

March 12 primaries for South Tucson, Marana, Sahuarita

City and town council seats are up for election this spring in Marana, South Tucson and Sahuarita.

Four seats are up in Marana, where four incumbents and two challengers are running, seeking four-year terms.

Incumbents Patti Comerford, Herb Kai, Carol McGorray and Jon Post are facing challengers Kent Crotts and David Morales.

In South Tucson, three seats are up, each a four-year term. Incumbents seeking reelection are John Felix, Carlos Salaz and Pete Tadeo, and the challengers are Ildefonso Green, Vanessa Mendoza and Oscar Patino.

Sahuarita also has three four-year terms up for election, plus one special election to fill the remainder of a two-year term.

Three people, including two incumbents, are running for the three open seats, so it's likely they will be elected in the March 12 balloting. Gil Lusk was appointed to the seat when council member Phil Conklin resigned because he moved outside town limits. Two others are running for the seat: current council member Joshua Matthews and challenger Don Woolley.

For residents elsewhere in Pima County, these elections matter, because local governmental decisions often have influence beyond town and city limits. The mayor of each council sits on the Pima Association of Governments and Regional Transportation Authority boards, which make funding and service decisions for the region.

Those boards distribute federal transportation funding, operate regional environmental programs such as bicycling advocacy and clean air campaigns.

Local government officials also contribute financially and sit on the boards of planning organizations such as the Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities economic development agency and the Tucson Metropolitan Visitor's and Convention Bureau.

In Marana, a vote on whether the town can take over a county-run sewer plant could have implications for all county residents who pay sewer bills, with the exception of Sahuarita residents, because that town runs its own waste-water system.

Marana and the county have been at odds over waste-water control for years, arguing over which should treat Marana's waste water. The county argues it is cheaper to handle all treatment regionally, because the cost is spread wider. Marana argues it can treat waste water from its smaller group of users cheaper and keep control of the effluent.

Why should you care about these elections? Watch:

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